Cat puke – how much is too much?

Cats puke. Everyone with cats know this. Particularly after you buy new furniture, clean the carpets, etc. A great question a client recently asked is: how much is too much? Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer (is there ever in this field?).
Generally speakindevon rex catg, once a month is considered “acceptable” by most specialists. When it gets to once a week, or multiple times a week, then there may be an underlying problem. A recent study showed that almost 100% of cats who were “frequent vomiters” (more than twice a week) had some sort of digestive tract disease when their intestines were biopsied (sampled and exampled microscopically). Most often these diseases included food allergy, chronic pancreatitis, and/or Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS in people). These can be treated by adjusting diet, adding over the counter medication (like pepcid), or even feeding prescription food. Of course, if your cat was acting fine, then throws up 4 times in one day, poor kitty may be quite sick and should be seen by a vet promptly!
How to tell if the occasional vomit is hairballs? If you notice the gross stuff you’re cleaning up is mainly hair, then yes. If it’s food or liquid, then most likely more is going on than hairballs.  If your cat throws up hairballs very often, talk to me about your grooming habits and feeding habits. Some over the counter hairball formula food helps a lot! Other cats do well with an OTC  supplement such as laxatone – think flavored vaseline that makes everything sllliiiddde on through. Bottom line: the occasional hairball is gross, but OK. Anything more than one, maybe two times a month may be worth a discussion with your vet.

Posted in Feline specific, Internal Medicine.

One Comment

  1. Is there a connection between EPI and SCC?
    My cat started with EPI sometime in 2017 or at least he started puking often then. It took
    until the first quarter of 2018 until the reason for that was designated as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. It got worse before it got better. He was treated for CIBD with daily cortisone doses before we had the correct diagnosis. I suspect that to have caused him to suffer diabetes in addition. With help of enzymes added to his food and by finding “the right” food
    he eventually got better, the diabetes even went away. Still puking enough to be of concern, but otherwise okay, no dramatic weight loss or inappetence, losing weight was welcome even given the diabetes.

    A year later he got squamous cell carcinoma on his palate and now he is gone.
    I wonder if there is any connection or if these are two completely separate illnesses
    stuffed into one unlucky little munchkin.

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